Blackburn College restarts wrestling

Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, will add men’s and women’s wrestling for the 2023-2024 season. The school of approximately 400 undergraduates previous sponsored men’s wrestling, dropping the sport in the 1980s. Blackburn is approximately an hour north of St. Louis and is a member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The SLIAC announced this week that both men’s and women’s wrestling will become conference championship sports next season with the addition of the teams at Blackburn and the joining of the conference by Lyon College in Arkansas. Blackburn, Eureka, Fontbonne, Lyon, and Westminster will compete in both championships.

Khris Whelan was named head coach of both programs last month. Whelan was a two-time All-American at Missouri and has previous college coaching experience as an assistant at his alma mater and as head coach at SIU-Edwardsville from 2004-2007. He has other experience as a coach for Great Britain’s national team from 1994-1997 and most recently as a high school coach in Illinois. He competed in the 1976 Greco-Roman Olympic Trials as a high schooler and won four USA Wrestling Junior National championships.

Blackburn Welcomes Whelan as Head Wrestling Coach

Blackburn College is proud to announce that wrestling has returned to the campus for the first time since the 1980’s. This time, Blackburn will expand to include a women’s team in addition to a men’s team. Khris Whelan, an alternate of the 1976 Olympic Greco-Roman team at age 15, has begun his tenure as the head coach for the men’s and women’s wrestling teams.

Whelan brings exceptional experience to the program. As a wrestler, Khris competed at the University of Missouri, where he was a two-time All-American. Following his experience as an athlete at the University of Missouri, Khris spent his time from 1987-1994 coaching at his alma mater. He coached eight NCAA Division 1 All-Americans, as well as several Big 8 and Big 12 champions.

Click for more…